Trail Association Helps Keep Castle Crags Open
Mt. Shasta, October 22 – The Mt. Shasta Trail Association (MSTA) is pleased to announce that it has entered into an agreement with the California Department of Parks and Recreation to help keep Castle Crags State Park open for public use and enjoyment.
The Trail Association and State Parks recently signed a Donor Agreement in which $10,000 of MSTA funds will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the State Parks for maintenance, operation and revenue generation activities at Castle Crags. These funds originally were collected by the now inactive Castle Crags Interpretive Association. The funds may only be spent at Castle Crags, and not used at any other state park unit.
This opportunity was an outgrowth of last year’s budget crisis that forced the State to look at closing selected park units across California. Unfortunately, Castle Crags was targeted as one of the units slated for closure and was closed for a portion of time.
In response to the crisis, Assembly Bill 1478 was passed to facilitate agreements between partners and State Parks and to create contingency funds to operate specific park units. The State Parks contributions are from the recently discovered surplus of $54 million dollars held “off-budget.” The disclosure of these funds resulted in the resignation of Director Ruth Coleman and the appointment of Major General Anthony L. Jackson to lead the agency. The donor agreement is signed by Major General Jackson and MSTA president John Schuyler.
Supervisory State Park Ranger Brett Mizeur is working with the MSTA to identify projects that would tap into the contingency funds. Currently, they are looking at the following:
- Repair of the Indian Creek Nature Trail, including a trail bridge and update of its interpretive brochure;
- Replacement of worn-out trail signs and installation of new signs to facilitate trail use and reduce the number of lost hikers;
- Reconnaissance of trail conditions looking for maintenance needs;
- Hiring of seasonal workers to conduct maintenance and revenue generation activities; and
- Publication of various park maps and brochures.
The agreement will be implemented through June of 2015.